you are watching xeroxed. i am jonathan betz live in new york. words of respect for ariel sharon, who died today after eight years in a coma. >> massive chemical spill may be days before 300,000 people can use tap water again. alex rodriguez's punishment is reduced. the slugger says it's still too much. fifty years since the first big health warning about smoking, where we stand today.
vice president joe biden will lead the u.s. delegation to the memorial service for ariel sharon. he died this morning after eight years in a coma. he was 85 years old. shareon was a decorated general and a controversial leader. president obama honored shareon by renewing commitment to bring israeli and palestinians together. the president said we have we drive for peace for israel to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security. we return to the jerusalem correspondent, nick schifrin. how is shareon being remembered today? >> reporter: >> reporter: jonathan, you know, you said it. he was polarizing. he was loved by israeli who dubbed him "king erick" using his original first name but so many airabs in the region called him a brutal bulldozer. it wasn't anyone here in this
country in israel or in the region who wasn't directing affected by shareon's policies. and he was on the public face for 6 years and throughout, he was poliarizing? >> it was a moment that defined everything he stood for n 2000, he walked through the plaza of the alaxa mosque. a provocation was what it was. he asserted israeli claims. his visit triggered outrage in the second palestinian uprising but the violence it helped spark propelled him to election as prime minister. it proved once again that the brash, bull-headed sharon did what he wanted, seized land he desired and nobody dared stop h him. as much as anyone in the last 50 years, he helped define theis s
israeli state. he was an audacious and successful soldier. his campaigns redrew the state's borders. in 19967, he won a sensational battle and israel doubled in size. in 1973 as a battlefield general, his leadership prevented almost certain defeat in the yon kippur war. as defense minister, he led the invasion of lebanon. but after the victory, he ordered his forces to stand by as the lebanese fighters that he was supporting slaughtered hundreds if not thousands of palestinian refugees. it should have been the end of his career. he had to resign. in an israeli commission of inquiry found him directly responsible. he returned to power as a right-wing politician. i helped create the party that
leads israel. he masterminded the settlement removal. he saw settlement in the palestinian went bank as bull walks against arab neighbors he never trusted. >> all of the communities that we build in judea, samaria, gaza, the golan heights are not obstacles to peace. they are obstacles to war. >> for sharon, there was no greater obstacle than long time nemesis, yasar arafat. he forced him into exile from lebanon. when arafat was palestinian president, shareon laid siege to his compound. arafat was a prisoner inside his own home and in the end, left without seeing the palestinian state that sharon fought so hard again. he is a murderer.
>> shareon promised security and took the long-term view. in 2001, in a wave of bomb attacks, sharon chose separation. he ordered the construction of a massive wall that ghettoized some of the west bank. took land palestinians called their own and redefined israel's borders. >> i understand peace but the first thing and most important one is to bring security. >> when he decided that security meant removing settlers from the gaza strip, the father of the settlement movement with stood heavy resistance. once again, shareon did what he wanted with landisis seized. he was on his way to being re-elected prime minister. but in 2006, he suffered a massive stroke. he was brought by ambulance to this hospital and never woke up. >> always polarizing, aerial
share own was seen as a sem bent of strandy. some saw it as cruelty. one writer said his story was israel's story. today's israel is sharon's israel. >> let me read some of the statements that have been outpouring since sharon died earlier today. first from the hamas spokesman. they run the gaza strip. they called sharon, quote, a criminal whose hands were smeared with the blood of our people and the israeli president, shimon peres who worked with decades called him one of israel's great protectors, the most important architects who knew no fear and never feared vision. >> will give you a sense of how polarizing sharon was in life and in death. >> without question. nick, what do we expect from the memorial services and the bur yelle burial. >> sher rohn will be accorded a military and state funeral like any other prime minister, like any other general who has his
kind of stature. tomorrow, in the kineset, he will lie in state. so, for about six or seven hours, people will be able to show their respect and they will file through the sensor of the -- sententhe center where his casket will be like we saw any president sitting in the u.s. congress. or monday, from the kinneset, his boyt will be brought down to his farm in southern israel. >> that's where he has requested to be buried, right next to his wife. he loved that farm. it's one of the largest private plots in israel. and despite the government's request to give him the state funeral it has given every prime minister before, which meant a burial in jerusalem, sharon's family says he wants to be buried on his family farm next to his wife. >> nick schifrin live in jerusalem tonight. thank you. not everyone is mourning the death of ariel sharon
>> reporter: more than 30 years ago, these streets were littered with mutilated bodies, dead people, women, elderly, the children, palestinians who were killed in the infamous massacre in 1982. today, people are celebrating, distributing sweets once they learned of the deaths of aerial shar sharon. in 1982rial sharon. in 1982. the israeli army was in beirut. they invaded and laid siege to this camp. they said that they were pursuing fighters belonging to the palestine liberation organization. what happened was a lebanese militia allies entered the camp and carried out killings. most of these survivors you talk to, they are rejoicing his death. no one is mourning his death. what they would have wanted to see is arial sharon be taken to an international court, tried for what they see are the crimes committed against them. but that never happened. there were numerous attempts, but amount of survivors have
also said sharon's death is not going to change much for us because he was just an israel official. it's a possible. it's a state policy which they believe the israeli government will never allow these people to going back home. hundreds of thousands want to go back home in compliance with u.n. resolution giving them the right to return. >> gill hoffman, a chief political correspondent of "jerusalem post." he joins us from jerusalem. thank you for being with us today? >> pleasure. good evening. >> i know you have interviewed sharon. i am curious to know what that was like and what he was like on a personal level? >> a very charging person. in a way, he is the opposite of netanya netanyahu. ♪net on television comes across very well but in person is not quite as endearing, whereas sharon, somewhat never liked giving large speeches to big crowds and never liked being on
t.v., but in person with small groups and one on one, he was wonderful. he was charging. he was someone who made everyoeveryone he was with feel very special. he was someone who was fascinating to speak to who was a witness and played a very importantly roll in all of history. it was great getting to know him as a human being. >> what do you think his legacy will be? i wrote an article you can find on the jerusalem post website about about that, about how his political legacy is complex on the one hand. for many years, he was on the right, building the land of israel. on the other hand, he then went and uprooted 8,000 juice from their homes where they had been -- jews from their homes where they had been living for generations. neither the right nor the left can really claim him as their own. his real legacy is being the kind of politician who could make big decisions, who could be bold, who could decide i am going to be a leader and do what i want even if it's not popular. and at a time when israel had
leaders that are sometimes afraid to make decisions and sometimes go back and forth, there are a lot of people in israel now who miss sharon very much. >> so do you see, bouncing off of that, do you see that legacy, that boldness in today's leadership? and in the talks right now between the israeliz and palestinians? >> not yet, but it remains to be seen. the talks are right now in full swing. they are going to have to be big decisions made by netanyahu. >> the americans want it. ♪net has the backing of the people of israel and has the most moderate parliament and government we have had in 20 years. whether there is going to be a deal would depend, as usual, on whether the palestinian leadership fails their people yet again. >> i read an opinion piece that said if a stroke had not brought down arial sharon that there may
be a good chance that there would be peace right now between israeli and palestinians. >> you have to be careful with how you use the word " peace. there could be a peace agreement. he withdrew. he was prepared to have another unilateral withdrawal within the west bank. whether that would have been something that would have brought piece, that would depend on whether they would give up the hope of destroying the state of israel. it could is set a piece agreement. if you have education on both sides, with both sides being taught tolerance and not to hate, that's what would bring peace. >> what do you think the impact is going to be on israel without him here? >> he hasn't been around for eight years. and since then, other kings of israel have come and gone and netanyahu is very popular right now. and israelis trust him to deal with the threats israel is facing from iran.
also it can have an impact on netanyahu when there are those comparisons saying that he does know how to make big decisions. maybe that will pressure him to be a little bit more like his own nemesis. >> gill hoffman with "the jerusalem post." thank you for your insight tonight. 300,000 people are without tap water after the chemical spill in west virginia. more than 30 people have been treated for symptoms of nausea and vomiting. it happened thursday at a plant in charleston. authorities have banned people from drinking and bathing with that tap water. our jonathan martin is charleston west virginia. jonathan, any sense of when the water might again be safe?
>> we are have being technical issues. we will try to get back to jonathan martin a little bit later. we will move to longer knees. neiman marcus says hackers stole crust members members credit card numbers in mid december around the same time target discovered a breach that affected up to 70 million people. a spokesperson for neiman marcus says there is no evidence online shoppers were targeted. a fire risk is forcing general motor to recall 370,000 vehicles in north america. the 2014 silverado and gm gmc sierra models have a software problem. eight fires have been reported so far all during extremely cold weather. the company is warning customers not to the leave idling trucks unattended. still ahead on al jazeera
a plant in charleston, authorities have banned people from drinking and bathing with tap water. jonathan martin hopefully you can hear us. >> jonathan, we heard not too long ago from the president of the water company. he told us they have done a lot of testing on the water. they say the chemical levels are
lower but they are not confident at this point, they don't have a broad enough sample to say people can use it again. people are filling up at tanker trips. they also have about 75 tractor trailers full of bottled water that have been brought in from fema. a lot of people have been going by. kind of slow right now. how is this effort going? >> i think it's going pretty well. ran out of bottled water once. truck got here about an hour after that. kept everything going. we haven't ran out of the filling jugs out. girl scouts came out and helped us. it's been going well. >> we don't know how long this water crisis could last. it could be a day. it could be a week, we are hearing. is the state prepared for this if it goes longer than a couple of days?
>> yeah. i believe they are prepared. every time i have spoken with the emergency operations center, they have gotten on the ball. they have gotten us truckloads of water. >> we have seen a lot of people come can, some coming two or three times filling up huge canisters of water. do you think people here in the state are overly concerned or do you think it's right fully so not knowing how long it will last? >> it's rightfully so. they don't want to be able to run out of water. they want to give water to animals, take care of bathing needs and do cooking. >> daniel with the fire department here jonathan, the latest, 300,000 people told not to use their water. at this point, a wait and see game as to when they will be able to. >> a long wait and see. live for us in west virginia. thank you. >> we have a decision on alex rodriguez's arbitration case with major league baseball. jessica taff is here.
a-rod is still not happy? >> he is going to be social security spended for the 2014 season. here is the difference of the independent arbitrator dropped the length from 211 games to 162 for abusing the league's steroid policy. let's look at his epic fight to stay on the field which began august 5th of last year when he was handed the 211 game suspension by commissioner bud selig for violating the basic agreement in the baseball's drug program. rodriguez appealed and was able to play the rest of the 2013 season. then following the yanks' season, his suspension began and today, that ruling from arbitration that the yankees's third baseman original suspension was reduced from 162 games down to any post-season games the yankees may play. this is what major league baseball had to say, for more than five decades, the arbitration process under the
basic agreement has been a fair and effective mechanism for resolving disputes and protecting player rights. while we believe the original 211-game suspension was appropriate, we respect the decision rendered by the panel and will focus on continuing effort on eliminating performance enhancing substances from our game. as for alex rodriguez, he respondnd with a statement of his own saying, in part, quote, the number of games sadly comes as no surprise. he went on to say that, quote, this is one man's decision that was not put before a fair and impartial jury. a-rod continues to say, quote, i have been cleared that i did not use performance enhancing substances as they alleged in the notice notice of discipline or violate the basic agreement or the joint drug aagreement in any manner in order to prove that i will take my fight to a federal court. so we dive deeper into what this will mean from a legal standpoint for alex rodriguez so we bring in ted coolis, sports law attorney based out of tampa. ted, thank you for joining us
for this. first off, let's talk about alex rodriguez's statement saying he plans to take this case to a federal court. >> right. >> what kind of chance does he have for the arbitrator's decision to be overturned? >> while three players head for cooperstown to rejoice in joining the hall of fame, alex rodriguez heads for the cold reality of a federal court house. the context of this is essentially a labor dispute between major league baseball and a-rod. under the federal arbitration act, it's going to have to demonstrate that there has been some kind of corruption or fraud in the actual process of getting the ultimate decision from the arbitration panel. while a- rod has not been quiet about criticizing the panel, he has made no specific allegations that would even fall within the category of what he's going to have to prove to overturn the suspension. >> okay. this means he will miss all 2014 but there is that loophole he could attend spring training, which he says he plans to do. is there any way the yankees can
say no to that? >> they could go ahead and cut him right now, although then they would have to pay him the balance of his contract, approximately $61 million. you know, the way the federal court looks at this is back in 1960, the supreme court examined the issue of when and where a federal judge should get involved in these disputes. ultimately, they found in 1960 and since then that a federal judge should hardly ever get involved in this. otherwise, it destroys the whole purpose of the arbitration process. >> absolutely. now, if there is any loop hole in the spring training, as we mentioned, can we see any loopholes that would get him back on the field? and what kind of timeline do you think this would take place? >> the timeline right now will be measured in two different sections. the first section will deal with how quickly the court will react to the injunction that he is going to file that he wants to preclude the suspension while the federal court is examining his allegations. i would estimate that that would be resolved in something measured in weeks if not months.
but the second part is actually looking at whether or not he can overturn the suspension. >> that's going to take the balance of his year. >> thank you so much. meanwhile, the yankees still owe a-rod $216 million through 2017. whether he will urn it on a baseball field or not, we are going to talk about that in the next sports hour, another baseball insider. >> thanks, jessica. it's been 50 years since the first u.s. surgeon general report revealed the dangers of smoking. in fact, the centers for disease control says lung cancer is the deadliest, up to 90% of cases are connected to smoking and second-hand smoke. 50 years after the link between smoking and cancer, the rate of lung cancer has only dropped, by the way, 2.6% per year for men and only be 1% per year for women. but 35 to 44-year-olds are the ones who seem to have listened to the surgeon general's advice most. >> group has seen the biggest drop of smoking-related lung
cancer cases. let's go live to our correspondent lisa barnard who joins us in davis, california. you are at theplation that first banned out door smoking which set a trend for the country. right? >> reporter: that's right, jonathan here in yolo county, the leaders were 30 years ahead of anyone else when they enacted a ban on smoking outdoors, in parks like this one back in 1975. researchers say in the 50 years since that surgeon general's report first came out, efforts to ban smoking stopped smoking and controlled people from starting to smoke, has saved 8 million lives. i spoke with smokers and non-smokers here and they were talking about the out door smoking ban. there was some criticism and some support. >> i am happy we live in a place where health is a priority, and where we don't have to be
exposed to unhealthy things that we don't choose to be exposed to. >> i think to a large extent, regulation of the public areas have become kind of extremist. >> reporter: researchers say that the most effective thing to stop smoking has been to hike up the cost of a pack of cigarettes and they say especially, also, to health deter young people from starting to smoke is that high cost of a pack of cigarettes. >> lisa talk about the agreement reached between the tobacco companies and the department of justice. what came of that? >> reporter: right. well, just yesterday, the department of justice and the tobacco companies reached an agreement that still has to be approved by a federal judge. essentially, it addresses the eight-year struggle that they have been having about how to deal with the ruling that tobacco companies did according to a judge for decades mislead
and hide from the public the true dangers of smoking. and, so, the ruling would say that tobacco companies now have to take a full-page ads in sunday editions the top 35 papers in the u.s. as well as online ads and t.v. spots to be shown during prime time on the major networks with quote, unquote corrective statements about how they misled the public. jonathan? >> big decision there. lisa barnard life from davis, california. thank you for your time today. our coverage on smoking continues in experts ways. how much progress has been made since the 1964 announcement. rebecca? . >> yes. the pacific northwest, new storm slamming in 56 mile per hour gusts in seattle. coming up, i will show you what's happening right now.
former israeli prime minister died this morning, 85 years old. he is expected to be given a military funeral at his family farm on monday. >> it's been 50 years since the first surgeon general's report was released announcing the dangers of smoking. the centers for disease control says about 90% of lung cancer cases are linked to smoking and second-hand smoke. acting u.s. surgeon general said it's killed millions of people. >> first and foremost, over the last 50 years, we have lost 20 million lives, 20 million lives to this totally preventable disease. smoking-related diseases. ultimately, we have recently had reports saying over that same time span, because of tobacco controlled measures, we have saved 8 million lives. >> joining us to discuss this is theodore holford with the yale school of public health. thanks for being with us today. >> pleasure to be with you. >> okay. so, the first question is: why do you think 50 years later
smoking is still such a big health concern. we why are people still smoking? >> i think it's a product that is very -- people have whether or not have started smoking have had a hard time giving it up and it's luring a lot of people to start the habit. >> what do you think was the big impact of that report 50 years ago? how do you think it's impacting surgeon generals today? >> i think what is very important about that first report was that it brought together the scientific evidence at the time. some of the best studies on l k linking cigarette cancer to lung cancer came out in the 1950s. these were sort of lone studies and what the surgeon general did was that they put together all
of these results and really made a very solid case that galvanized the health community which comprised of governmental agencies, the private sector, volunteers, all to put forth this effort to try to reduce the expos you're to cigarette smoking. >> do you think there has been a study after that on any topic like this that has matched the impact of this one? >> this one was certainly remarkable about what the effect was because its effect has been lasting. there have been subsequent surgeon generals' reports further clarifying the science behind what is known about the harmful effects of cigarettes. but this was really, i think, a milestone that took place. now, that being said, did also became a model for a variety of other different health -- public
health efforts, such as trying to understand the health affects of air pollution, of various kinds of air pollution, aids and other public health issues. but this was really, i think, kind of a watershed for public health and i think it had a big impact on controlling something that was very difficult to control. >> now, the new frontier is these electronic cigarettes, different local governments are trying to figure out how to control those. what do we know about them and how dangerous are those ecigarettes? >> i think it's early days. i think there is a lot we don't know about them and further study is needed because it takes time to do these studies and the product his really very new. i think -- well, most of the systems, what they tend to do is to vaporize nicotine and if the
dose of nicotine is equivalent to that of cigarettes, then i think it's likely that it would be likely to kill less people than do cigarettes. but that's a lot being -- a lot said because a lot of concern is exactly how that would be -- how people would use the product. among the concerns is would they actually use it as a substitute for cigarettes, or is it just a bridge between smoking, in which ways they are continuing the expos you're to cigarettes. the other big concern is the affect this might have on young people and making it more -- making it easier for them to begin to smoke. >> okay. it's stunning that 50 years later, smoke something still a major public health concern. theodore holford with the yale school of public health, thank you for your time today? >> my pleasure. >> all right. let's turn to weather with rebecca because i walked out
earlier today in shirt sleeves. it wasn't bad at all. five, six days earlier, we were at record low temperatures? yes. new york 507 degrees. the pacific northwest is getting slammed with wind gusts, 56 miles an hour, up to 60 miles an hour, even at great falls montana. see the storm right now. it is moving on shore. if you were at the divisional playoffs with the seahawks and new orleans saints in seattle, you are getting hammered with rain and wind and the wind is now gusting about 30, 35 miles an hour, and we will get, eventually, a break in the way of the rain. it will turn to rain showers but the snow is coming down for the mountains. it's going to continue pushing eastward. the snow, the rain, the wind. right now, we have 37 mile per hour gusts. 4 for hquan. the went gusts have died down. now, we've got wind gusts between 35 to 40 miles an hour,
howling through seattle and portland, both seattle and portland had power outages earlier today. some folks have not been able to see the game. if we look at our satellite picture, i want to show you an area of low pressure, the center crossing vancouver island. it is that area of low pressure crossing right in that very spot that causes wind storms in the pacific northwest. they have to move in a specific area because the wind interacts with the terrain and channels it and can make it be even faster. so that large storm is moving through, and we are expecting the stronger winds and wind warnings for montana as we get into tomorrow. snow coming down, pack your chains if you have to drive through the passes. we will have more details on this big storm tonight coming up. >> jonathan. >> see you a little bit later, rebecca. thanks. in russia, 5 terrorist suspects were detained. the government says they belong to a terror group. they were found with a self-made
explosive device. it happened 185 east of sochi. it follows two bombings in volgegrad. americans planning to attend the olympics have been issued a travel warning. u.s. citizens should stay on alert because of potential terrorist threats in crime. washington says it's not aware of any specific lengths but they are an attractive target for terrorists. those games big february 7th. south sudan's government said it will not release 11 rebel leaders captured in december. united nations have called for their release in an attempt to push for a cease fire. peace talks are taking place right now in neighboring ethiopia to broker a solution between the warring faxes. al jazeera mutasa spoke with a representative from south sudan. >> trying to find a solution to the crisis here in south sudan. i am joined by the press secretary for the president. the u.n. secretary ban ki moon
have pushed for those to be arrested. what is the government's position? >> if president kamin the crime that is punishable the president will violate the constitution. the members of the government express the fact that they will not accept these guys to be released without, you know, without trial. so they have to go, you know, but they agreed the process, the legal process should be expedite so that the legal, you know, so that these people are actually taken to the court of law and they will be allowed to defend themselves. >> is the government consent sanctions could be imposed on the country to put pressure to release the detain eaedetainees >> they need to understand the
position of the government because the government knows that the attempted coup happened on the 16th of december and that in any country, if something of that kind happens, then it should be to a court of law. i don't know why the enter the national community would not understand our position. >> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> there is fighting going on bor, the capital. we have been told the army has sentence in reinforcements to recapture the town from rebels. a lot of people here in south sudan are hoping peace talks happening in ethiopia come to a paetsches and speedy conclusion. >> the u.n. is under secretary for humanitarian affairs arrived to meet with syrian officials about the ongoing refugee crisis there. as caroline malone reports, a refugee camp and syrians has become a human that i remember disaster. some images you are about to see are disturbing. >> the face of a starving child
in a refugee camp in syria. this activist video shows acute suffering in yamuk, home to thousands of palestinians. for weeks, children here have been without enough food. some people have taken to eating grass to ward off hunger. increasingly, the most vulnerable are dying. aid agencies have appealed to all parties in the syrian conflict to allow aid workers in to do their work. a place of profound civilian suffering. we are receiving reports that because of the lack of medical care, women are dying in childbirth. there are reports of widespread malnutrition, children, women, the elderly reduced to eating animal feed, spices mixed in unsafe water. south of damascus, it was home to about 160,000 palestinians.
set up in 1957 and grew to include centers. it has been under rebel control for more than a year. it has been surrounded by government forces in the last few months activists say the camp is effectively under a military siege. >> in order to get to these areas you need to get security ainsurance from the fighting groups in the area that you can allow or get the aid inside without any, you know, the relative safety to the convoy. >> the u.n. relief agencies for palestinan refugees has called for humanitarian corridor. there have been no electricity or heating here for a year. the water supply is unreliable. without it, more people will die. >> in afghanistan, selling
scraps from former u.s. military basis has become a multi-million dollar industry. dealers cull through piles of material searching for what to sell. the treads you're hunt isn't always profitable. report now from kandahar. >> active. >> the war machine is being broken down and sold. these are scraps of equipment from kandahar air base. the major american million facility. whatever isn't being packed up and sent back to the u.s. or given to afghan forces is sold to local dealers, intentionally damaged. mohammed zarif cysts through a pile of scraps that were once a large tent. this could have been worth $5,000 if it wasn't in pieces, he said. baffled something so valuable could be destroyed. >> what is there in by doing that? they are making something worth
$1,000 into $10. we know that these things could be a treasurer for afghanistan but they break it into pieces and send it to us. >> the u.s. military says it doesn't want to pass on anything that could be useful for bomb making. the kandahar base housed thousands of soldiers. much of what was like a small town is now being sold to local traders. it ends up in scrap yards like this on the edge of the city. >> although many here complain they would have preferred to have intact equipment are not suffered being destroyed. the industry is buying and selling parts. [ing thousands of local people. >> i just moved stuff from here to there. with my life and feed 10 members of my family. it's work for us. >> others are less forgiving. if they were thinking about afghanistan, they leave these things functioning so a poor
person could use them. look. i don't have shoes and there are shoes coming from there with holes in them. >> locals here sort through the remnants of on be jackets many don't recognize, neither will they be using them. with most items broken or in pieces, it will have to be reprocessed as scrap metal. afghanistan doesn't have the equipment to do that. so most of it will be sold across the border to pakistan. similar to the army it once belonged to, these remnants of war will soon of leaving on. jane ferguson, al jazeera, kandahar, afghanistan. >> the family of a young boy who died stopping a suicide bomber in pakistan will receive that country's highest metal est med honor. his family will receive the star of bravery the 15-year-old chased a suicide bomber outside his school's gates monday. he was killed when that bomber detonated his vest. >> over 200 of his classmates
were inside. >> dozens of tourists left stranded after a rock slide in peru blocked the road leading to the ancientsinska site of montipiccu. workersstructed. one rock was 23 feet wide and 16 feet tall. some tourists would not be deterred. they walked to the ancients ruins. still ahead, bridge debacle with a traffic jam blocked new jersey christensenie's road to the white house?
washington bridge to a standstill. new jersey state assembly released a pile of documents related to the four-day incidents including angry e-mails to the port authority ordering lanes re-opened. matthew arco is a staff writer and reporter in new jersey where he has been covering the i don't know george washington bridge closure thank you for being with us? >> thank you. >> everyone is asking this question. i will ask you: is chris kristi's ambitions for 2016 over? >> i don't know if i could say it's over because it's still a couple of years out. since he is in the national spotlight, talking about a run for 2016, that's certainly kind of the prism that everybody is looking through. this is serious stuff and serious allegations. it's reaching his inner circling with the release of the documents just the other day we are seating it's getting closer and closer. the governor said he had no knowledge of this drart i can lawmakers in the state house are
trying to pick at that and get it closer to the governor. at this points, he's been so adamant that he has no knowledge of it, if it gets closer, it's probably going to be pretty damning to him, especially when he looks to 2016 when he looks on the national stage and how something like this plays out to voters across the country. >> so what happens next? what are you watching for now? subpoenas have been issued. there have been investigations. what could shake out of all of this? >> the assembly democratic lawmaker leading the charge has a lot more questions that he wants to ask they are not letting up at all. >> such as? >> some of the documents that came back, there was redactions so they have questions about, you know, who was having conversations with who? does it get closer to the governor? one thing in particular is the kristi's top appointee to the port authority, governor in the days, well, sometime mid august,
an assembly man was leading the charge to investigate this wants to know, well, you know, what were they -- what was the genesis of the meeting? were they talking about the bridge? because, you know, that information came out from the documents that the assembly requested, you know, any documents relating to the traffic study, to the traffic jam. so they wonder if the person that turned over those documents is directing that to them saying yes, this had to do with the so-called study. >> the governor said repeatedly he had no idea this was happening. you cover politics in new jersey. you covered the governor. does that fit? that someone of his, at his level would not know what his top aids were doing on something of this magnitude? >> it's the million dollar question. depending upon who you ask, they will say absolutely not. i mean, if it reaches the -- his inner circle, you know, they are almost certain that, come on, how could it not have reached the governor? >> he is a hands-on governor? >> he is a hands-on governor.
he does have a close staff. it's in the realm of possibility that these folks are pretty close to him but just not, you know, not right there can kind of, you know, have a blueprint to work with. they know where they should be going with things. but, you know, those what folks are saying. it is getting pretty close to the governor. bill sfeppian, the governor distanced himself with has worked closely with the governor for years. you know, a name that just popped up in the most recent document release is, you know, the woman, reggean a gia who is set to be his chief of staff. he was awarded -- she forwarded an e-mail about his frustration and anger. >> it keeps getting higher and hire? it hits the governor. >> gig question. >> so far. matthew arco, thank you for coming in today? >> thank you. >> would you buy friends of facebook or followers on twitter?
there is a industry selling fake social media followers. stacy tisdale has more on that. >> in 2011, heavy acog dil launched my tab, a travel gifting website that invites friends and families to make contributions to a wannabe travelers dream vacation. like many middle class entrepreneurs, starting a business was a financial challenge to say the was least. >> you have to bootstrap. you spend money you ration, you ramen noodles. this is how you live. >> with little money for marketing and few resources to attract new customers, she turned to a company called viver. for $10, she bought 400 social media followers on facebook and twitter. it is one of dozens of websites that sell botts, computer generated fake users according to baracuda labs, a thousand twitter botts cost 18,000 on average. the practice is gaining in popularity because a large social media following helps
people and businesses create illusion that their opinions are valuable? >> perception is reality. those stake followers might help you attract real followers. >> by some estimates, the market for fake social media followers has skyrocketed into a more than $300 million industry. social media companies are not taking this lightly. it's latest filing with the security & exchange commission, facebook estimated as many as 12 million of its more than 1 billion users were undesirable accounts. a spokesperson for facebook told al jazeera, quote, we built a combination of automated and manual systems to block accounts used fraudulent purposes. we take action against sellers that they click and help shut them down. >> there is nothing illegal about creating, buying or selling a fake following. it raises serious questions. high profile names like mitt romney and lady gaga have distanced themselves from follower fraud.
proponents said this is the new frontier in marketing given tight economy. >> there have been lots of ways companies or individuals can make themselves look bigger than they really are with a little marketing savvy and a little pr saavy. so is this really that different from that? i am not so sure. >> hevi is sure. she is no longer living on ramen noodle and said my tab is now valued a $4 million. what she says is due in no small part to the way the followers she purchased helped her attract real customers and a bigger network. >> 2 natural thousand which are a real followers on twitter. we have got over 8,000 real likes on facebook. >> a new way of doing business in a social media world where size does matter. stacy tisdale, al jazeera network. >> well, there is much more ahead on al jazeera america including scientists worried about. the bee population in croatia.
china. the tourist town builds itself for the mythic shangrala. it destroyed 200 buildings. damage is estimated at nearly $16 million. >> well, then known for being business. the bees seem to be confused. hy high ber nation because unseasonable warm weather has messed with body clocks? >> it could mean bad news for the be environment. first thing every morning, this bee keeper checks the temperature. there should be snow on the ground. >> 10 degrees in january. >> that's too warm. his bees thing it's spring. they have leaving hives. >> they shouldn't be outside. it's too cold. i tried to warm them up. i care for every one of my bees.
bees are going out in search of food. they are laying eggs as if spring had already sprung. itt they will be in real trouble. if winter comes back again, which will probably will, the weaker bees won't be able to warm up the colony and they will die which means many will never lay their eggs at all. >> the situation has croatian officials worried. >> we don't know what is going on. we know some bee keepers have lost a lot. new keepers, old keepers, big and small. something is definitely happening and we like to keep a close watch on it. >> it's a european problem. a third of the bee population has been lost almost 7 billion bees. in croatia, according to the national bee keepers association, there are 9,000 bee keepers with a bepopulation of
900,000. they can have serious consequences to humans. they play a role in poli policyonating. if the bee goes, our food supply will be under serious threat. >> it's like removing a brick for the from the bottom of a wall. the wall might still stand but it won't be as stable as before. >> instability of the local climate is having an effect. in april, when the real spring arrives, they should know juv how serious the problem is simon mcgregor with al jazeera. >> finally, the san diego zoo has one less panda. 4-year-old yun gi has been cents to china. he was born at the zoo. his parents are alone. panda diplomacy allows them to bring any born in the u.s. back to china before their fourth birthday. yun li is going home. >> that's our show. back in an hour. headlines after this.